Melodic Hardcore is a Subgenre of Hardcore Punk. When Hardcore Punk's formulaic patterns began to become washed out, the genre itself split into many subgenres. Many of these genres have become successful in underground music, like Emotive Hardcore, Post Hardcore, and Melodic Hardcore. Melodic Hardcore is less aggressive then Hardcore Punk and the vocal melodies are more melodic. The influential New Jersey band, Lifetime, used positive lyrics in their songs, influencing Pop Punk and Melodic Hardcore bands like New Found Glory, for years to come.

Musical CharacteristicsEdit

Melodic Hardcore music combines the rapid tempos (such as 200-220 bpm) and drum beats of Hardcore Punk mixed with Pop Punk styled guitar riffs and melodic vocal melodies. It's common for guitars and bass to be tuned to Drop D, and for the minor seventh and ninth chords to be used with an open string modal playing style. Triplets and tapping in the strings has become more popular in the newer waves of Melodic Hardcore.


Melodic Hardcore music originally emerged out of the Los Angeles Hardcore Punk scene with The Descendents in the 1980s. Bands like Dag Nasty from Washington DC, and Bad Religion from the San Fernando Valley were some of the first influential Melodic Hardcore bands born. Minor Threat, an extremely influential Hardcore Punk band that spawned the straightedge movement, and was cited by emo and hardcore bands as a direct influence, broke up in the 1980s, and their influence extended to Dag Nasty, through their guitarist Brian Baker.

The Youth Crew Straight Edge Scene in the 1980s bred hundreds of Melodic Hardcore bands all influenced from bands like Youth of Today. One of their carbon copies, Gorilla Biscuits, finally realized their own sound and released their influential record, "Start Today", which is still influencing bands in the current Post Hardcore scenes.

In the early 1990s, the Youth Crew movement in New Jersey was about to spawn two bands that would influence every hardcore scene on the eastern seaboard. Turning Point, a straightedge hardcore band had, by the time they released their demo and their first 7, and capsulized the defining sound that people would forever associate Melodic Hardcore with. Lifetime, which grew out of the same scene at about the same time, were directly influenced by Turning Point, taking their formula and expanding it. They were eventually signed to Turning Point's label, Jade Tree Records, and influenced Pop Punk, Emo, and Hardcore scenes around the country. Bands like Saves the Day and The Rookie Lot were originally clones of Lifetime.


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